City of Salisbury announces virtual Cheerwine Festival bands

Published 11:29 am Monday, May 11, 2020

News release from the city of Salisbury

Cheerwine, the 103-year-old soft drink from Salisbury, will host a Virtual Cheerwine Festival on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Last month, Cheerwine and the City of Salisbury announced plans to cancel the annual outdoor event that draws tens of thousands of people and instead host a virtual celebration for all to enjoy from the safety of home. Many of the never-before-announced headliners scheduled for the 2020 festival will perform as part of the Hotwire Communications virtual stage line-up, including The Sugarhill Gang, Tone Loc, Nathan Angelo and ACE Party Band.


Known as the first nationally popular African-American hip-hop group, Sugarhill Gang is know for its 1979 hit single, “Rapper’s Delight.” Mike Wright (Wonder Mike), Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank) and Guy O’ Brien (Master Gee) still tour today.

Tone-Loc, a 1980s rap pioneer, was the second rap act to reach no. 1 on Billboard’s album charts.

Nathan Angelo embraces classic elements of popular music and celebrating the backbeat of American tradition, by integrating the Great American songbook. the flair of jazz and heartache of the Delta blues.

ACE Party Band performs for all generations and includes music from all genres spanning over the past 50 years, from beach and Motown, to Top 40s, pop, rock, hip hop, R&B, country and jazz standards.

During the event, fans of the iconic family-owned soft drink can participate in numerous virtual games and contests, including bingo, a scavenger hunt and trivia – all for a chance to win Cheerwine and branded merchandise.

For the full event schedule and to watch live, visit the Virtual Cheerwine Festival Facebook event page.

“We’re grateful to all the Carolinians, and people across the country, who’ve joined us over the last few years in our hometown for the Cheerwine Festival, and we still wanted to do something special for them in 2020,” said Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member. “We now consider the third Saturday of every May to be Cheerwine Day, so we hope our wonderful fans will join us at home with an ice-cold Cheerwine for the fun and surprises we have in store for them.”

During the Virtual Cheerwine Festival, fans can:

  • Shop online with Downtown Salisbury businesses and Cheerwine vendors who were scheduled to sell their handmade creations at the Festival.
  • Play virtual Cheerwine bingo for a chance to win 2020 Cheerwine Festival t-shirts.
  • Enter to win prizes by sharing photos of themselves on social media enjoying the virtual event.
  • Test their Cheerwine trivia knowledge for a chance to win Cheerwine-branded merchandise.
  • Download a variety of fun activities, including coloring pages and word searches, from kids zone sponsor F&M Bank.
  • And much more.

To celebrate the numerous Cheerwine-infused drinks and dishes available at the Festival, the cherry-flavored soft drink is inviting fans to visit and make their own cocktails, sauces, desserts and other recipes during the entertainment and interactive activities. From Cheerwine caramel corn to a southern Cheerwine bundt cake, Food Lion is the one-stop shop for fans to find all their recipe needs.

“We’re happy to see many of our favorite local restaurants offering to-go Cheerwine dishes for families to enjoy while participating in the virtual entertainment this Saturday,” said W. Lane Bailey, Salisbury city manager. “We’ll miss seeing everyone fill the streets of our historic downtown this year, but we’re already planning the best Cheerwine Festival yet for Saturday, May 15, 2021, and we can’t wait to celebrate in person with locals and guests in our great city next year.

After thousands of online votes were tallied, Johnathan Marcus Woods won the inaugural 2020 Cheerwine Festival t-shirt design contest. All profits from sales of the shirt benefit the Rowan County United Way’s Covid-19 Relief Fund. To purchase the shirt, visit Cheerwine’s website

For more information on the festival, visit